England’s chief pharmaceutical officer has backtracked on the issue of hub and spoke safety.
In a statement to MPs, Dr Keith Ridge has admitted that the published safety data comparison with a large scale automated dispensing facility in Sweden was misleading and inappropriate. He explained that the dispensing model in Sweden – which uses medication ‘pouches’ – is not routine practice in the UK, and, furthermore, that the error rate quoted is a reported rate, and not observational.
However, the chief pharmacist will still push forward plans to boost hub and spoke dispensing in England. He said: “I remain of the view that automated centralised dispensing, underpinned by a robust quality assurance and regulatory system, resilient and implemented carefully, will improve safety and quality of patient care… if the UK implements and utilises relevant technology in a considered manner, including drawing on the experiences of other countries.”